MEMPHIS, TN (abc24.com) - The Memphis Director of Public Services, Janet Hooks, says the Rotary Club report on the Memphis Animal Shelter is full of inaccuracies.
The 22-page report was released mid-November. Council members let a month and a half go by to give the shelter's supervisor, Janet Hooks, time to evaluate the report.
Councilman Jim Strickland told Hooks, "The council is concerned about some of the deficiencies at the animal shelter."
The most notable is a paragraph that ties employees to dog fighting. Strickland read a quote from the Rotary report, "There has been a relationship between certain individuals and illicit dog fighting rings in the community."
Hooks said, "There was nothing substantive there." She told council that the Rotary did not find any employees at the shelter who were actively involved in dog fighting.
Hooks also said the report is full of inaccuracies. The report cites the shelter as not doing background checks on adoptive families. To that, Hooks said, "We do not do background checks on each adoption, we do checks on adoptions for pit bulls and pit bull mixes."
The report recommends the shelter have an internal video system to monitor all activity. Hooks said they have more than 40 cameras monitored by the Memphis Police Department's Real Time Crime Center.
However, when someone is caught doing something wrong, even on camera, the report says they often go without discipline. Hooks has an explanation for that too. Hooks told council members, "There was an employee who put puppies in a trash can and was moving them to a different area. Was that a terminable offense? No it was not. Was it poor judgement? Yes it was. Were the animals harmed? No they were not."
Council members praised Hooks for realizing the shelter's shortcomings, but they want to hear from Rotary now. They will meet Jan. 17, 2011, and the council will ask Rotary for evidence behind its charges.